What is phosphatidylserine?

Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance that protects nerve cells in your brain and enables them to communicate with each other. The nutritional supplement phosphatidylserine promotes cognitive function and memory, especially as you age to better support how your cells communicate and enhance your glucose metabolism.

The amount of natural phosphatidylserine in your body decreases as you get older. Some people choose to take this supplement to increase the amount of phosphatidylserine in their brain.

What are phospholipids?

Phosphatidylserine is a type of phospholipid. It exists in your brain cell membranes, or the part of your cell that protects the inside of the cell from the outside environment.

Phospholipids are fats that contain the mineral phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential part of your bones, teeth and DNA.

Health Benefits of Phosphatidylserine

A handful of studies have explored the health effects of phosphatidylserine supplements.

May Boost Athletic Performance

Phosphatidylserine supplements may help increase exercise capacity and improve athletic performance.Researchers also found that phosphatidylserine may help decrease muscle soreness and protect against an increase in levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that often occurs as a result of overtraining.

May Improve Memory Loss

Phosphatidylserine is often taken to try to slow age-related memory loss. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 78 older people with mild cognitive impairment were assigned to six months of treatment with phosphatidylserine supplements or a placebo.

In tests performed at the end of the six-month period, participants who took phosphatidylserine were found to have experienced a significant improvement in memory.

May Lower Cortisol Levels

Some studies have shown that phosphatidylserine supplementation reduces the body’s levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone that the body produces in response to stress. Cortisol also plays a major role in regulating many of the body’s functions. High levels are associated with adverse health effects such as increased blood glucose and blood pressure, so keeping cortisol levels in check is beneficial.

Stress Reduction

Phosphatidylserine could potentially mitigate the body’s response to chronic stress by lowering cortisol levels, a hormone linked to stress. Elevated cortisol levels are linked with heightened anxiety, high blood pressure, immune suppression, mild cognitive impairment (potentially severe depending on the extent of the problem), and other detrimental effects of chronic stress.

Phosphatidylserine’s ability to regulate cortisol levels might contribute to its calming effect on the body. When combined with other substances like omega-3 fatty acids, phosphatidylserine may offer a holistic approach to managing stress-related mood disturbances.

What dosage does phosphatidylserine come in?

Phosphatidylserine comes in different doses that vary based on your age and reason for taking the supplement. On average, an adult could take 100 milligrams (mg) to 200 mg of phosphatidylserine daily. For example, if you have stress-related sleep difficulties, a healthcare provider may recommend you take 100 to 200 mg of phosphatidylserine at bedtime.